I think it really depends on what type of a person you are. I never went to (straight) bars before coming out, don't drink, don't like smoke, don't like music that loud, can't dance... so I suppose one could say that a bar is an earthly rendition of hell for me.
I met my first bf on-line, as I was just coming out. We were together for 2.5 years, and when we broke up I was gay and single for the first time. Took me about a year to get over him and eventually I made new friends (most of our old friends were actually his friends) and started hanging out with them... and going to the bar. It was socially fun because I got to hang out with a lot of friends, had a few hot moments... but only once a boyfriend/relationship (short lived, and word on the street was that he was cheating on me).
Smoking was probably the biggest turn-off. Seems like 90% of the bar crowd smokes. Had this curse about me: the minute I'd spy a hot guy... he'd light up.
I kept telling myself that just like I was there, it's possible that there were others who weren't just bar flies. I'm sure there are (I think we've seen evidence of that in this topic), but the odds don't seem that good.
A story from the Wise Men of Chelm tells about a man walking home one night who runs into a friend looking for something in the grass. "What did you lose?", he asks. "A valuable gold coin", says the friend. So he offers to help in the search. After some time, he asks his friend where he last saw the coin. The friend replies: "I think it fell out of my pocket a block or two back, but I'm looking here because the light is better".
I think a lot of people flock to the bars because "the light is better", and I think it's sad that in so many cases (for many people if not in many places) the "gay community" is nothing more than the bar scene.
Don't like it? Then go out and create alternatives! A sport team, a book club, social groups with BBQs or picnics, etc.
Oh, I met my boyfriend at a funeral. We were both dating other people at the time. Then we met again at a school dance a few months later... and the rest is history.